Jean-Clay Van Heerden

What are the banks doing to reduce fuel fraud?

What are the banks doing to reduce fuel fraud_Featured blog image

Fuel fraud can quickly bleed a lot of money from any fleet if it is not carefully monitored. As technology improves, so does the skill of fraudsters, which makes this an area where fleet managers must stay ahead of the game.

Each year millions of Rands are lost to fuel fraud and preventing this loss is a top priority for most fleet managers. Financial institutions, such as banks, are naturally also at the frontlines when it comes to preventing fuel fraud.

Fuel fraud can happen in many ways, and identifying fuel fraud within your fleet is the logical starting point. The only way to do this is to have a fuel management system in place that will immediately highlight any irregularities in fuel consumption. Without a proper system fleets can bleed money for years and lose millions before the problem is picked up.

This is not a risk you want to take with your business, so find out which solutions will suit your needs and get them in place as soon as possible.


Best Practice

Currently, the best way to mitigate fleet fuel fraud is to employ a fuel card system. There are two main options.

The first is an Open VIN card that links a fuel card directly to a specific vehicle. All fuel transactions for that vehicle can only be done with this card, and it can’t be used to fill up any other vehicles (or canisters).

Further safeguards can be put in place such as limiting the number of transactions that can be done per day and even allocating an amount of time, such as four hours, between transactions. These cards can also be programmed according to the vehicle’s fuel capacity. If your vehicles have 60-litre tanks the card will decline if a purchase of more than 65 litres is attempted.

Fuel cards, therefore, have numerous anti-fraud mechanisms that can be adapted to suit your specific fleet.  In addition, EQSTRA overlays the timestamps of these fuel transactions with its telemetry data. This allows fleet managers to see exactly where vehicles were fuelled, who the driver was, what the route, destinations, and even road or engine conditions looked like. It all depends on the telemetry package.

Actual fuel consumption of a vehicle can be compared with the fuel consumption of the same vehicle types in different fleets. This not only adds to your overall fleet intelligence but also allows for excessive fuel use to be identified.

The second option that banks offer is the Visa Card Solution, which uses a One Time Pin (OTP) method to authorise fuel transactions. This is a good solution for fleets that can’t predict the exact distance or destination their vehicles will travel each day, such as a pool vehicle, for example.

The Visa Card Solution allows drivers to fill up where and when they need to, but adds a level of security with an OTP. While there is a risk that the OTP can be shared, EQSTRA combines this system with additional telemetry to track the exact journeys of each vehicle.

This information can then be compared to delivery addresses on each day and expected fuel consumption can be calculated. Any big discrepancies are addressed immediately.


Technology is king

When you compare the above solutions to doing cash transactions or using designated garages in the past, it has become a lot easier to identify fuel fraud. Banks have made great strides in their card technology and the limitations/rules that can be applied to card use. This has dramatically changed the way fleet managers are able to identify and track potential fuel fraud.

These days fleet managers can access a dashboard that shows fuel transactions, fuel consumption, vehicle speed, and location all in real time. So while the risk of fuel fraud is never zero, getting the right systems in place will always save you money.

Download our company car policy and start cutting fleet costs. Looking for professional fleet management? Contact us today to arrange a demonstration of how EQSTRA can help your business. 

Download your cpoy of our Company Car Policy